Italiano Deutsch English

Cannevie - Porticino Valleys




The Cannevie-Porticino Valley, so called for the former fishing structures found there, is located near the town of Volano, on the left bank of the Po di Volano, from which it is separated by the Via per Volano.  Of the nearly 65 hectares over which it extends, 39 are represented by bodies of water and 26 by emerged humps.  The Cannevie-Porticino Valley represents the only body of water excluded from the drainage efforts that brought about the reclamation of neighboring Giralda Valley (1958) and Falce Valley (1969), that is of the valley complex formed by the submersion of the northern wing of the medieval Po di Volano delta. 

Following the reclamation, the briny waters underwent a progressive desalinization, although they remain salty due to the hydraulic circulation currently carried out by valve from the Po di Volano and Taglio della Falce.  The basin is furrowed by sub-lagoonal canals that correspond to the lavorieri, large constructions traditionally used by the valley’s old fishing system.  In 1985 and 1994, environmental restoration efforts led to the reexcavation of sub-lagoon canals and improvement of water valves towards Taglio della Falce.  The nature trail, with huts for observation of the avifauna, was introduced in 1998.  A reconstructed lavoriero can also be visited.  Several hectares of agricultural lands, found to the north of ponds belonging to Volano’s church, were restored to grassy wetlands in 2000. 



Vegetation is scarce or absent in the open bodies of water.  In shallower zones, tall reed beds characterized by Phragmites australis (facies alofila) and few other species are quite common.  One also finds halophile and halotolerant vegetation, particularly in the northeastern part of the valley, where salty grasslands of Juncus maritimus grow (Sint. Puccinellio festuciformis-Juncetum maritimi), accompanied by Aster tripolium, Limomnium serotinum, Puccinellia palustris, and, in more elevated zones, dense meadows dominated by Elytrigia atherica.  On the more conspicuous ridges that stretch from the northwest to southeast, representing old coastlines, scrubland (sint. Prunetalia spinosae) blooms with Prunus spinosa, Crataegus monogyna, Ligustrum vulgare, Cornus sanguinea, Coronilla emerus, Rhamnus catharticus, Rubus sp., Rosa sp., Euonymus europeaus, as well as marshy woods (Sint. Alnetalia glutinosae) with Populus alba, Frangola alnus, Ulmus minor, Populus nigra and Alnus glutinosa.  A small thermophile woodland (Sint. Quercion ilicis) grows in the extreme northeast, dominated by Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) and also featuring Phllyrea angustifolia, Asparagus acutifolius, Clematis flammula, Rubia pergrina, Ruscus aculeatus, Osyris alba and Rosa semperverins, mixed with mesophyll species.



Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards and, of greatest importance, Eurasian Coots are present in wintering populations, the dimensions of which certainly exceed expectations given the dimensions of the area.  Eurasian Teals, Garganeys, Northern Shovelers and Spotted Redshanks also have notable populations.  From October to March, the valley hosts incredibly numerous concentraitons of Eurasian Coots.  Purple Herons, Little Bitterns and Great Reed Warblers nest here.  The valley’s typical fish species include striped mullets, eels, the European seabass and big-scale sand smelt.  The Mediterranean Killifish and Adriatic Dwarf Goby populations are an important, historical community here, as they are in neighboring Bertuzzi Valley. 


To visit

The communities of Cannevie and Porticino are linked by a nature trail that crosses the valley and is furnished with handicap-accessible huts from which visitors can observe the avifauna.  The trail is open year-round save for the late spring, when it closes in order to limit disturbances to avifauna nesting.  




To the east, one finds the Casone, a traditional rustic construction, and Palazzina Cannevie.  The Palazzina was built according to 17th-century, Venetian designs as a manor house or home for the head fisherman.  The main two-story wing contains two jutting fireplaces that define the principle façade.  The Palazzina currently serves as a hotel and restaurant.  To the west is the Casone Porticino, an 18th-century construction that has undergone such various transformations as to render its original structure—as a fishing shack—difficult to fathom.  The Casone is currently used as a restaurant.  Near the town of Volano, on the left bank of the river, is the Torre della Finanza or “Tower of Finance.”  In existence since 1320, the current building hails the mid-1700s, when it was used for the control of river traffic. 


Typology Lagoons and brackish valleys
Cartography  CTR 1:25 – 187SE; 205 NE
Municipality Codigoro
Property Emilia Romagna Region
Management Province of Ferrara/Municipality of Codigoro




Nature trail pursuant to L. 1497/1939 and environmental restrictions pursuant to L. 431/85.  Within the site, L. 1089/39 identifies the “Torre del Volano” (Tower of Finance).  These three regulations are incorporated into and abrogated by D.L. 490/1999, currently in force


The site forms part of the Oasis for the Protection of Fauna known as “Cannevie-Foce Volano” (377 ha), pursuant to Del. C.P. 295/10011 of 01/08/1979 and its subsequent modifications.



The site is included within the limiting boundaries of the Park of the Delta, pursuant to L.R. 27/1988 and the 1991 and 1997 Territorial Plans of the Volano-Mesola-Goro Station:  Zone B (subzone B.SMT).



The “Bertuzzi Valley and adjacent bodies of water” Ramsar Zone instituted by D.M. 13 July 1981 (G.U. n. 203 of 25/7/81).


Special Protection Zone (IT4060001), according to DIR 79/409 EEC (2570 ha), and Site of Community Interest (IT4060004), according to DIR 92/43/EEC (2570 ha), known as “Bertuzzi Valley, Porticino Cannevie Valley.”



To be constantly updated on the activities of the Management Body for Parks and Biodiversity - Po Delta

Subscribe Unsubscribe



Scientific Website of the Po Delta Park